Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

July 3, 2002, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman




Clark County News


July 1907


Last Wednesday evening, Mr. Herman E. Braatz and Miss Nellie Ruege were married by the Rev. D. H. Rohrabaugh.  They were married at the home of the bride’s parents in the presence of 175 invited guests.  The ceremony was to have taken place in Ruege’s parlor which had been tastefully decorated for the purpose.  When it was realized that only a small number of the guests would be able to witness the ceremony there, it was quickly decided to have the wedding on the front porch.  Flowers and rugs were placed and the people gathered on the lawn. The bride was beautifully attired in a rich light blue silk dress trimmed with lace and a flowing veil decorated with lace and smilax. The groom wore a conventional black suit.


A bountiful wedding supper was served to all under a large tent set up on the lawn.  The couple received many beautiful presents among them a fine bedroom set, a present from their Pleasant Ridge friends.  All of their friends join in wishing them prosperity and happiness.


The city of Neillsville will pay $3.00 per cord for cobblestones to be used for street gutters.  These can be weighed at the mill scales, 13,000 lbs. to constitute a cord.  Stones are to be delivered as directed by J. W. Hommel, street commissioner.


Between five and six o’clock on July 3, a storm cut a path of destruction from Tioga to the Grant Cemetery.  A rotating funnel-shaped cloud reached from high up in the sky to the ground below.  As it progressed, the whirling vortex sucked up into its awful mass, everything in its path below.


Many farm buildings and homes were destroyed with some people being injured.  Lyman Charles, who was badly injured, died of those injuries two hours later. Others injured were: Ruth Larson, Zura Fricke, Mrs. Charles, Richard Beyers and Arthur Evans, who all reported to be out of danger and doing well. 


The following families received damages to their farms: August Voight, C. H. Sheppard, John Schwamb, August Halbraeder, Louis Quast, Chas. Poppe, August Beyer, August Meihack, August Lang, Ferdinand Hrach, A. Hemp, John Aumann, John Walters, Sol. Johnson, H. Bieneck, Fred Borzclitz, Seward Way, John Charles, Wm. Buddenhagen, Carl Grotzke, Ludwig Duge, Sereno Wren, C. W. and D. F. Smith.




The John Charles farmstead was amongst others with buildings destroyed by the 1907 tornado that took a path starting near Tioga and ended by the Town of Grant Cemetery.


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Mr. and Mrs. John H. Russell, who live in the vicinity of Neillsville, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.


John Harman Russell and Mary A. Reifsnider were united in marriage on April 24, 1857, in the village of Waupun. Rev. Williams, a Baptist minister, performed the ceremony.


The Russells were both born in this country; their grandfathers served through the War for Independence.  After the groom’s grandfather died on board the whale ship he owned, his parents left for New York City and some years later settled in Wisconsin.  The bride’s father, a Pennsylvania blacksmith, moved his family to Wisconsin territory in 1846, when Mary was ten years old.  The family settled in the new village of Waupun, Fond du Lac and Dodge counties, divided by a town line road.


Mrs. Russell treasures the large, old family Bible which contains the record of her mother’s Grandmother Vanderbilt.  She remembers her mother telling the children about her Uncle Cornelius Vanderbilt’s large farm and the servants that were employed upon it.  The family highly prized the handsome ivory tooth of a great whale secured by the sea captain, Grandsire Rozelle, who assisted in capturing the whale.


After living some years in Madison and Milwaukee, the Russells moved to Clark County, to live in the grand woods of the Town of Fremont, late in 1876.


The Russells had eight children, of which seven are still living.  They have 23 grandchildren.  Last year, the anniversary couple moved near Neillsville, having lived in Clark County for 30 years.  The only witness of their wedding party, still living, is Mrs. Russell’s sister, Mrs. N. W. Gordon of Marion City, Kansas.


The following “Old Man’s Blessing” was quoted at the anniversary celebration.


“Poor we’ve been, but not forsaken,

Grief we’ve known, but never shame.

Father, for Thine endless mercies-

Still we bless Thy Holy Name.”


F. V. Merryfield has made arrangements to open the Hewettville creamery.  He will furnish the machinery and make up the butter for its patrons. This will be done at a fixed rate for the farmers who have formed a combination known as the Farmers’ Creamery Association.  Herman Carl will be secretary of the association and Fred Wiesner will be the treasurer.  Merryfield has a good reputation as a butter-maker and can turn out a proper product.


There will be a benefit dance on Friday night, July 26, to be held in Willis Euhelder’s new granary, in the Town of Weston.  Proceeds from the dance will be given to the benefit of the August Beyer family who received injuries and whose property was destroyed by the recent storm.


July 1947


Come to Neillsville this weekend, July 4-5-6, to celebrate with us. The Neillsville American Legion is sponsoring a Big July Fourth celebration. There will be fireworks, water sports, dancing and prizes during the three days.  Water sports will start on O’Neill Creek at 3 p.m. on the Fourth with fireworks in the evening.  A wildlife display will be on the Legion grounds all three days with free movies each evening.  Baseball games will be held; Friday, Neillsville vs. Loyal; Saturday, Neillsville vs. Chili and Sunday, Neillsville vs. Curtiss.  Music will be provided by the Neillsville High School band and a German band with dances on Saturday night and Sunday night at the armory.


There will be dances at the Lake Side Inn on the south shore of Rock Dam.  July 4th music will be Johnny Goertz and July 5th, the Laniers Band will play for a dance. The hall is free of charge for wedding dances.


Myrle Hales, former resident of Neillsville, is the new president of the Loyal Rotary Club. Hales is an employee of the Citizens State Bank of Loyal.


The Methodist Youth Fellowship of this district will attend Camp Bradfield, near Black River Falls, on July 13.  The senior group will be in camp the first week, with the Misses Phyllis Fahlgren, Hazel Millard and Barbara Holt going from here.  On July 20, the junior group will go to the camp.  Those going from here that time are Mary Ann Smith, Mary Fahlgren, John Fahlgren, Bobby Millard and Lee Keller.  The camp is to be put in readiness on Thursday and Friday of this week.  Rev. Fahlgren with his wife and family will be there with others to organize the camp projects.


The cost for operating Clark County’s entire school system 68 years ago was just about one-half the $55,000 budget that joint Pine Valley-Neillsville district voters were asked to approve at the annual meeting on Monday night.


The operating cost and other school statistics of 1879, in Clark County came to light a few days ago when Russell Drake, county superintendent, uncovered the annual report for that year made by John S. Dore, then county superintendent.


Of course, there was a vast difference between the county system of 1879 and the present-day set-up.  Those were the first schools of Clark County, organized into a county system shortly after the county was organized.


At that time, there were 63 school districts, as compared with a total of 146 today.  A total of 2,286 pupils attended school at some time or other during the year, as compared with a total of 6,934 in 1945-46.  Schools then operated generally five months during the year.  Now they operate nine months in a term.


Equipment was meager, as compared with the present-day schools and subjects were confined strictly to the “Three R’s.”


Cash value of all school sites was set down at $2,629 and all school buildings in Clark County had an aggregate value of $48,388.50.  The equipment was valued at a total of $3,614.30, making a grand total valuation of Clark County’s entire school system of $54,631.80.


Loyal and Greenwood each built a gymnasium-auditorium in the days just preceding World War II, before the days of bloated building costs and that exceeded the amount.


The cost of hiring teachers, in 1879 as now, made up the largest single item in the county’s school budget.  Sixty-eight years ago a total of $15,752.31 was paid in teachers’ salaries.  “Female teachers,” as the report listed them, took a total of $11,364.31 in salaries; the remaining $4,388 went to “Male teachers.”


Teachers, in those days, drew pretty good wages.  The average monthly salary for a male teacher in Clark County schools was just a penny short of $35; for female teachers, $26.32.  The Town of Pine Valley paid the top wages for male teachers, $54.56.  The lowest paid monthly wage for male teachers was $26, paid by the Town of Beaver.


Female teachers were somewhat less fortunate in the pay check item.  The top average monthly wage was $38.62, paid by the Town of Eaton; the lowest, $21.66, paid by the Town of Unity.


The salary of the county school superintendent that year was $600.  He also had $150 for expenses in connection with the functioning of his office for the whole year.


There were 117 teaching certificates granted that year.  Six of them went to wise old heads of 16 summers, about to don the cloak of straight-laced school “marms.”  Many others were teaching at the age of 17 years.  But a few, such as George W. Carley, age 43, and Mrs. Oliva F. Forman, 39; were older and more experienced in teaching.


The shortage of gasoline and other so-called “light oils,” has been pinching in the Neillsville and Clark County area in July. The situation will be even worse in August, according to the fears of local bulk plant men.


A few local service stations already have experienced being shut down on gasoline for as many as two or three days.  Some have been out for a few hours or out of either ethyl or standard gasoline at some time or another this month.


All bulk plant quotas have been cut. They have been forced to allot their quota on a basis of the percentage of gasoline pumped by individual stations during the same month last year.  The cuts range from 10 percent and upward.


That, in and of itself, would not be too serious; but the real fact is that even these short quotas are not being met here.  The reason is lack of transportation. There are neither enough tank cars nor motor transports available to bring the needed quota into the area.


One station operator expected to pump about 15 percent more this year than he had pumped in the corresponding month of last year.  Thus, with a 10 percent cut from last July’s pumping, he is getting only about 75 percent of his needs.


Right now the most serious pinch is in automobile fuel. The tourist run is usually brisk in July, but it will reach its peak in August, and then settle down following Labor Day.


Ervin Kroll, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Kroll of the Town of York suffered a leg fracture Friday afternoon.  He was struck by a rolling barrel filled with antifreeze.  Young Kroll, employed by A. Hauge & Son, was delivering the barrel at the Zilk Villa service station.


The barrel was going down an unloading skid from the truck.  In some manner, the barrel got away from those handling it and rolled downward.  Kroll, standing at the bottom unable to get out of the way in time, and was struck by the barrel.


The heel of Kroll’s shoe evidently became caught on something when the barrel struck his leg, as the heel was ripped from is shoe.


The Cloverbelt All-Star game has been postponed to July 30.  It will then be the central attraction in the dedication of a new $15,000 recreation field at Stanley.  The game will start at 8:30 p.m. and will be played under lights.


The big plant of Clark Mills, Inc., at Colby, successors to Northwest Distributing Co., is expected to begin operations early next week.


Resuming of operations in the plant will be welcomed by people of the Colby area.  This will end a critical and anxious economic period in the lives of several hundreds of persons who had depended upon the plant for their livelihood.


Naval veterans of Clark County, both men and women, may now receive American Defense and World War II medals, if eligible.  The naval recruiting service at Wausau has made this announcement.  The original discharge certificate of the applicant must be presented at the recruiting station in order to receive the medals.


The Silver Dome Ballroom will have a free dance on Saturday, August 2.  The Ted Wirth orchestra will play.


Also, on Wednesday, August 6, there will be a free wedding dance in honor of Robert Jacob and Charlotte Hubing.  Russ Lewellen and his orchestra will provide the music.


Art Kurbyun and Melvin Meier announce the grand opening of the Meadow View Tavern and Garage.  It is to be held Saturday, August 2, and is located six mils south on Highway 95.  Starting at 9 p.m. there will be free dancing and sandwiches will be served.


Murphy’s Tavern is serving potato pancakes on Monday nights, Boston brown bread and ham on Wednesday nights; spring fried chicken on Saturday and Sunday nights and steaks every night.


(Murphy’s Tavern was located at the present site of the Riviera Supper Club, Hatfield, DZ)




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